A new South African short film, “Cutting Silence”, has been selected to appear at the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles in February.
The 29-minute film looks at the traditional but highly controversial practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in North African countries.
Loader (writer and director) was inspired to make a film about FGM after reading Waris Dirie's “Desert Flower”. “I was so impressed by Ms Dirie's courage as an African woman who chose to speak up against what has been done to her as a child in the name of tradition,” says Loader.
Set in Somalia, the fact-based film explores the dilemma of a family on the eve of their daughter’s planned circumcision. A mother’s vivid memories of her own brutal and traumatic experience begin to cast doubt in her mind while her daughter prepares for the rite of passage that is demanded by their community and ensures social acceptance.
The film was entirely shot in South Africa with a local crew and cast.
The Pan African Film Festival is attended by over 200 00 people and presents 175 quality films from across the world, showcasing the diversity and complexity of people of African descent.
The festival was started in 1992 and has been instrumental in promoting works of creative expression that uphold cultural and racial tolerance and education. Past festival features have included award winning films such as “Ray” and South African Oscar-winning film, “Tsotsi”.